Since the publication of the article below, Natalia Grossman has done the unprecedented and, thus, unimaginable for American sport climbing...she has won World Cup Gold on consecutive weeks!
Once again, Natalia topped all 4 finals boulders to beat stiff competition, which this weekend included Slovenia powerhouse Janja Garnbert. Janja had owned World Cup bouldering in the pre-COVID era, but Natalia has broken Janja's win streak.
The future is NOW...and it's spelled: NATALIA!
World Cup climbing podiums have been an infrequent occurrence for American climbers. World Cup gold is even more rare.
Lynn Hill and Robyn Erbesfield both won several World Cups (route climbing) back in the formative days of competition climbing (1989 - 1995). More than a decade later, Alex Johnson was an American force on the World Cup circuit with two gold medals (bouldering) in 2008 and 2010. Daniel Woods also won bouldering world cup gold in 2010, and Alex Puccio took the top spot at the Vail World Cup in both 2009 and 2018.
Otherwise, the thirty-plus years of World Cup climbing competitions have been far more of a "medal drought" than a podium presence for American climbers.
In the lead-up to the debut of Olympic climbing, we are witnessing the ascension of the next generation of American competition climbers.
In the first two World Cup events of the post-COVID era, American climbers have already scored three podiums, and a remarkable twelve Americans reached the semi-finals!
In April, 19-year-old Natalia Grossman burst onto the international climbing scene in winning a Bronze medal in Meiringen, Switzerland.
Then on May 22nd, Brooke Raboutou and Natalia Grossman won Bronze and Gold, respectively, at the first of a pair of World Cup events in Salt Lake City. Grossman, a PhysiVāntage Pro, was the only climber—male or female—to top all eight semi-final and final-round boulders.
While Adam Ondra won the men's division with relative ease, the women's podium spots were uncertain until the final seconds when Grossman stuck an improbable jump-lunge to a crimp. With just seconds to spare, she then sailed to the top and secured a rare Gold medal for Team USA!
A mainly plant-based athlete, Grossman consumes vanilla Powerplex post-workout and, as needed, for additional protein throughout the week. To support workout and climbing performance she uses FLOW and Endure X.
Photos: (Top) Natalia Grossman after sending the final boulder in spectacular fashion to win Gold! (Bottom) Salt Lake City World Cup lady crushers...Oriane Bertone, France (silver), Natalia Grossman, USA (Gold), Brooke Raboutou, USA (Bronze). Photos: Eric Hörst